Every year when I look through the seed catalogs, I always come across a picture that grabs my attention. A picture of a vegetable taken at peak ripeness and in perfect light. Last year was no exception, and it was Baker Creek’s catalog cover that drew me in. It’s always the same. I look at the picture, turn to Tracy and say I’m gonna grow that. So when the seed order for the year was placed glass gem was on the list. Glass Gem corn is a beautiful native american flint corn that can be used for flour or popcorn, but it’s this corn’s amazing color that makes it prized. In our area, we plant corn on memorial day weekend, so it was a long wait to get our seeds in the ground. We planted them away from our other corn to decrease the chance of cross pollination. After 2 weeks, very few plants had emerged, and I was discouraged. I replanted over the old seeds and waited. After two more weeks both sets of seeds began to grow.
Although the spacing was too close, I let all the plants that sprouted grow. And grow they did. After a short time, the plants were shoulder high, and then quickly taller than me. Soon after, I saw the first silk emerge.
Now waiting has never been my strong suit, and as soon as the ears seemed big enough and some of the silk was dry, I began checking on what was inside. I was devastated, all of the ears were yellow. I began to think that all of my beautiful corn had cross pollinated with my sweet corn. We decided to wait until the ears dried on the stalks and then check again. A few weeks passed, and when we opened them, we were overjoyed. They were just as gorgeous as the pictures in the catalog. I have never grown anything that had looked as good as the pictures in the catalog, but this may have been more beautiful.
Now it was time to decide what to do with it all. First it needed to be dried, so we laid it out in the sun.
We made some bunches of three or four ears to decorate and give to family, but we still had so many ears. Finally we decided to put some out in our little farm stand. Very soon after we put it out we had our first customer. A young lady who was getting married next fall wanted some to plant next year to use as decorations at her wedding. We also put the beautiful 8′ tall stalks out for sale. We were now glass gem farmers.
We took the corn that was left after our sales, hung it to dry, and later we ground it into flour. We saved the kernels from the most beautiful ears to share with friends, and to grow for ourselves the next year. Our experience growing glass gem corn was a success. It is hard to believe that growing a vegetable could be this rewarding! So the next time you see that picture in the catalog that draws you in, take a chance. You will always learn something new, and you may get lucky and find happiness on a cob.
Glass Gem corn seeds
One packet containing 100 seeds that we hand picked from our best ears. Free shipping to the lower 48 states. contact us if you need an international quote.